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1948-49 Theatre Catalog, 7th Edition, Page 356 (343)

1948-49 Theatre Catalog, 7th Edition
1948-49 Theatre Catalog
1948-49 Theatre Catalog, 7th Edition, Page 356
Page 356

1948-49 Theatre Catalog, 7th Edition, Page 356

times actual size without any loss of reality. In the modern Drive-In Theatre, for example, the last car ramp may be 600 feet or more from the screen but neither visibility nor audibility is impaired. Since the shape and size of the theatre is determined by the site 01: which it is built, each theatre must be studied and designed to meet varying physical conditions, as well as variations in building codes.

Seeking Ideal Sight Lines

The ideal sight line is one that will give unobstructed vision to the screen with the least physical exertion to eye and neck muscles. The ideal viewing angle would be zero degrees formed by a line from the viewers eye to the center of screen, in both the horizontal as well as vertical planes. To achieve ideal sight lines, or first row vision, and still stay within reasonable costs, requires a staggered seating arrangement, as well as a carefully studied screen position. The relationship of first row, height of screen, and spacing, have a direct bearing on how steep, or flat the floor will be. The first row radius will determine how efu fective the stagger will be. The width of the auditorium at the stage or screen end will, to a large degree, influence the curvature of the seating arrangement. The curvature of the first row should not place the viewer in such a position as to compel him to view the screen from an extreme side angleesee

Diagram # 1.

As mentioned above, the ideal sight line is one that will give unobstructed vision to the screen over the heads of occupants of the row directly ahead. This would result in a floor slope that would exceed maximum floor pitches as defined by most building codes, and would present practical dimculties in construction. Therefore, it becomes necessary to take advantage of being able to see the width of the screen between the heads of the occupants of the row directly ahead, with clear vision assured over the heads of all other rows, and requires the viewer to shift himself in the chair to one side or the other. The row directly ahead being the obstructing row, sight lines based on this system have been designated as Hone row 0bstructionli. To overcome this objection, methods for staggering chairs have been developed. Each chair must be taken into consideration as the visual angle changes with each chair position and requires careful study.

Si'aggering for Better Vision

Although the best viewing positions are along the axis of the theatre, it is here that one has the least sight line clearanceea condition which can be helped only by a staggered arrangement. The following methods are being used where the seating arrangement calls for a center bank of chairs.

1. All chairs the same size, with a half chair stagger every other row; for exampleeall odd rows having

14 chairs; while all even rows 13 chairs, which results in a. half chair aisle indent at each end of the row, and the loss of one chair per row. This method is partially corrective, depending upon the curvature of the rows.

2. By using three chair sizes in each row and alternating the order of the chairs every other row; for example-4-19", 6-21", 4-20" in all even rows; with 4-20", 6-21" and 4-19" in all odd rows. With this method there would not be any loss in seating capacity nor any aisle indent; all aisle end standards would be in alignment. This method is also only partially corrective.

It has been found that under certain conditions both of these methods only transfer the blind seats from the center to the ends of the rows, with some improvement every third row; reducing these blind seats approximately 50%.

In the wall or outer banks where the chairs are all the same size and the aisles are parallel, the chairs become automatically staggered with the exception of a few rows down front. Tapering aisles have a tendency to prevent the automatic stagger taking place and will require, therefore, that the chairs be staggered by changing the sizes.

More and more, theatre owners are beginning to realize the advantages of staggering chairs, especially in the case of reseating where it has been found

DIAGRAM leViewing angles and their contrasted results on the eye of (he Seated patron. The distortion areas are unsatisfactory for proper viewing.

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1948-49 Theatre Catalog, 7th Edition, Page 356